Following up on this previous BoingBoing item about "Good word algorithms gone bad," one reader suggested that I type the word "dead" into Google. I did, and received this interesting AdWords recommendation (Link to 70k GIF screenshot, sweartagod it's not altered):
Sexy Dead Singles
Free photos, personals and hot
profiles of local singles.
Emboldened by this success, I searched for the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and sure enough, eBay had 'em! Why didn't those pesky world leaders look here? Link to screenshot of the text ad suggested for a Google search on "WMD.".
Brand new and used. No bidding.
Buy Wmd at eBay! (aff)
Reader Matt Baume says,
I enjoyed your post about the apocalypse and devasation on ebay. Thought you might like to know, i've stumbled across two other unsettling algorithmic hiccups: searching for "11-year-olds" gets you ebay ads for children, and searching for "ringworm" results in "sexy ringworm singles." i've got screenshots of each on my blog: one, two.
I attempted to repeat Matt's results, and got even worse returns on "11-year-olds" from Google. Not only did AdWords suggest "Great deals on new and used 11 year olds now!" from eBay, but "7 Year Olds at Amazon.com" were also indecently proposed in the same breath as "Sexy Adult Personals" and "Photos of Hot Local Women Who Want to Find Sex Partners." Link to screenshot. Well then.
Reader Larry Swanson says,
Couldn't resist playing along. These are all actual AdWords results from today:
Find Everything You Want at Ebay
It's Fun, Quick & Easy to Buy! -aff
We have what you're looking for.
Drought & much more!
600+ Popular Stores – One Website &
One Simple Checkout – Shop Now!
Lint for sale. aff
Check out the deals now!